Outdoor Burning

The following information is being provided to you from the city of University Place and West Pierce Fire Department. Please take a minute and review for important information.   Everyone enjoys the nice weather and being outside, please be a courteous neighbor !

Outdoor Burning in West Pierce

(University Place and Lakewood)

Recreational fires can provide enjoyment for many, yet create frustration for others.  The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency regulates burn bans in our area to ensure the health and safety of its residents.  When burn bans are not in place, recreational fires are allowed within West Pierce Fire & Rescue’s jurisdiction.

Recreational fires are not the same as burning yard waste and land-clearing debris.  They are defined as “cooking fires, campfires, and bonfires using charcoal or firewood that occur in designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure, or ceremonial purposes.”  (WAC 173-425-030)

This also includes fires lit in chimineas, fire pits, fire bowls, and similar free-standing devices, except burn barrels.  These devices can be found at most home improvement stores.  Please remember that it is always illegal to burn trash or use a burn barrel.

Prohibited Burning

  • It is always illegal to smoke out your neighbor.  If smoke bothers your neighbors or otherwise becomes a nuisance, you must immediately put it out.
  • Burning of trash and/or yard debris is not allowed.
  • The use of a burn barrel is prohibited.
  • Be aware of current burn bans.

Burn ban information can be found at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s website: www.pscleanair.org 1-800-552-3565

Safety Tips to Consider

West Pierce Fire & Rescue asks that you consider these safety tips when using a recreational fire of any kind.

  • Fires shall not exceed three feet in diameter or two feet in height.
  • Recreational fires need to be at least 25 feet from anything that can burn.
  • Only charcoal, dried firewood, or manufactured fire logs may be used.  Never use gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquids in a recreational fire.

Burn Bans

Burn bans in Pierce County are placed into effect by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, as needed, for the safety and well-being of its residents.  Before having a recreational fire, please take into consideration the current burn ban status.

Call 1-800-595-4341 for burn ban information.


Violations of outdoor burning regulations can be costly. Fines can exceed $16,000 per day and typically start at $2,000. These fines are enforced by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

By Carmelle